March 09, 2009

Fence sitting.

"Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg."
Yes, no matter how right the wall may be, how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg.
Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will do it. But if there
were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?"

Have you had your morning coffee yet? I hope so....

Those words are an excerpt of a speech from one of my favorite authors upon accepting the Jerusalem Prize, an award for literary excellence.

It must have been difficult to stand in front of Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and say what he had to say about the recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinians who occupy the west bank.

The metaphor of egg and wall is one we can apply to many situations and for me it states simply that individual life and spirit must never be crushed by the unfeeling wheels and gears of governments and large corporations.

But what of the burden incurred by the egg?
Although we do not ask for it we are all born into this world bound to our particular culture with an obligation to live with consideration and courtesy and to eradicate any unfairness and discrimination that infects society. Yet when deadly violence is used to force ones views of propriety upon the populace or coerce others it is wrong. It is wrong for the individual as it is wrong for the state. This we already know. We have all known it since childhood when we were told to share our toys and not fight over them, so why do we insist on ignoring the rules that worked for us so well in kindergarten. If you believe that I am oversimplifying things and that the dynamics of international trade and politics is much more complex, then you haven't truly watched children at play.
Their world is a microcosm of the global situation. It might be more factual to say that theirs are the roots from which our garden grows.

No I am not a communist, socialist, liberal or a hippie who smells of patchouli spreading the word of love and peace from my VW micro bus. I am just a misplaced man wondering why the world is caught up in a self destructive spiral. We really need to put things into their proper perspective. There are some who are boo hoo hooing about the economy and how they can't afford the things they used to.
If you have a home, you're OK.
If you have a job, you're OK.
If you have clean water to drink, you're OK.
If you have safe food to eat, you're OK.
If you are reading this then you're OK.

What I cannot fathom is the things people will do to make money and the things people spend money on. Where is the justification in selling arms to countries and people who we are absolutely certain that they will be using them in a malicious way? America is the greatest manufacturer and exporter of military weponry in the world today.
Many of the countries that purchase or develop weapons would be better off spending that money to feed and educate their own people instead of worrying about racial cleansing or saber rattling with their neighbors

How can we voluntarily purchase drugs (I support the homegrown movement if there is one.)that do nothing but make us stupid and support the efforts of those who would like nothing more than for you to be complacent and ignorant.

Why is there support for industrial practices that pollute and poison us or abuse and sometimes maim and kill laborers; often children. I am not suggesting that we should all start riding bicycles, wearing hemp clothes and go hunting with bows and arrows for our food.
The main problem, as I see it, is with our present global economy and the structure on which it is based. The free market system is geared towards accumulating personal wealth with very little concern for the development or benefit to society as a whole. This allows, even with government controls and legislation, the greedy and unscrupulous to extort and influence the market in an attempt to increase their power base and wealth.

There will always be walls for eggs to break upon.
As long as the individual does nothing but think and act sefishly there will be no end to the strenghtening and propagation of the walls that surround us.
Be most wary of those who profess to have your best interests at heart when they only seek to fatten their own coffers for they will be the first to lob eggs at the walls and sacrifice our progeny on the altar of avarice.


Beth said...

As an egg that is starting to crack due to these economic times (although I am still okay re: items 1-5 on your list) I salute your stance and thoughts.
But if the “rules of life” are learned in the playground, where and why do some people veer off from the lessons learned, build and support the walls and continue to place us all on the path of destruction? Do they think they are immune from the cracks?

lime said...

excellent meditation. and yes, i am ok and i know it. now mind you i am not trying to be contrary here but i have no quarrel with the wall or the egg. they are just things with no inherent moral quality albeit very different properties. it's the one who hurls the egg i take issue with....the one who brings these two things in destructive contact and then walks away shamelessly from the mess.

Grant said...

I like eggs, especially scrambled with a little hot sauce and served with miso soup and rice. I assume that was your point.

I'm with you on capitalism. The greed system has some advantages, but it's geared towards the few amassing wealth at the expense of society, not to its benefit. Its supporters bat around words like "socialism" knowing that most Americans have an automatic aversion to the notion, but when you question people on certain concepts (such as why should only the wealthy have access to decent healthcare instead of it being the right of all people) they usually can't justify why the market should rule all. Especially now that companies are asking for bailouts. "If the market sustains us, we will be rich. If not, the taxpayers will bear the burden of our failed management."

NYD said...

Beth~ Unfortunately there is a tremendously impressive force that promotes a wholly inadequate ethical outlook on life and serves to further lessen the values of self respect, honesty and independant thought while replacing them with commercialism, Jingoism and mindless entertainment diguised as art.

The mass media is thoroughly amoral and never held responsible for the effects of it's constant malicious behavior.

Lime~ I am looking for contention. It helps me stretch my mental muscles.

I agree with you that those who incite conflict are the lowest of the low. Even worse is when they do it to aquire power and influence.
That is why I am completely suspicious of any organized religions. Far too many people have been murdered in the name of God. What a foul disservice we do to our creator.

Grant~ I find it difficult to understand how President Obama convinced congress to give him all that dough. Giving big corporations money that allows them to continue operating on the same principals that bankrupted them in the first place is assinine. Furthermore lending someone money without a plan to have it paid back with interest is criminal. I have never once heard Obama talk about a plan to recover the billions of tax payers dollars that he is being so frivolous with.

America, and many other nations as well, ought to return to a time when most people owned their own business. It might give them a better understanding of the true value of money.
As far as decent healthcare is concerned, polititions, backed by the immensly powerful insurance companies, have used the most illogical rhetoric in support of a system that just DOES NOT WORK!
There are far too many examples of other methods that provide adequate medical care to the citizenry. Of course it is government supported and as you say smacks of socialism which is anathema to Americans yet it is used successfully by many of her allies. Ridiculous to turn away something that works well just because of a ideological idea.
What the fuck do the folks on capitol hill know? They get great healthcare benefits!

The Grunt said...

I think we are finding out that the economy that we were used to was not sustainable. The homes that were being built around here for the "average" family are four times the size of the home that I grew up in, along with four siblings, two grandparents, and my parents.

CHEF TROLL said...

You're terribly misguided. True capitalism works superbly and has greatly improved every society that has embraced it. The current economic problems were CAUSED by Governmental intrusion into true Capitalism. Proposing MORE Governmental intrusion as the SOLUTION is insane.

NYD said...

Grunt~ That's the American ideal, bigger is beter. Look what it's done to the automotive industry.

Chez TROLL~ Aside from your point on government intrusion, the same point could be made for true communism or true socialism. Any system will work as long as there is an honest and open relationship between the populace, business and government.
That being said, I agree with you 100% on your statement: "The current economic problems were CAUSED by Governmental intrusion into true Capitalism." Under President Clinton (always a good friend to the wealthy)the American economy seemed to be in excellent shape, there was a budget surplus and unemployment was at something like a 40 year low, yet the disparity in the distribution of wealth was enormous; higher than that of any industrialised nation. Yes capitalism worked, it worked for those who already possesed the means to invest on wall street. This stupidity was further compounded once again by government intrusion when George W Bush removed banking restrictions set in place after the great depression and allowed financial institutions free rein in the market where unbridled greed and irresponsible/ criminal actions paired with huge debts incurred by massive spending and a reliance on credit compounded by an abysmal savings rate incurred a severe unstability to the economy which help lead us to the present situation.
President Obama has adopted Keynesian ideals to repair the country, but this, if it is successful, will not bring about the "change" he espoused during his campaign.
For true capitalism to work you need someone to purchase the products and services being offered.
China has been doing a great job with their version of capitalism they play the international game very well and are now in the process of purchasing many important businesses throughout the world. But before we praise their whole hearted embrasure of the free market system please take a closer look at how industrialization has ravaged their ecology and look at the human rights problems they endure.
Sorry TROLL, there is no Santa Claus

Mona said...

Misplaced, I agree one hundred percent with all that you have said in this post. Excellent observations, all of em.

Its really ridiculous, how religions that are supposed to profess love as their philosophy could actually propogate hate in that very name.

Some kind of madness does afflict human race...

Megan said...

I'm not ready for this at the moment. It's not you, it's me. I'll be back...

K9 said...

..."individual life and spirit must never be crushed by the unfeeling wheels and gears of governments and large corporations."....... perfect statement. well done!

my husband and i have been having a similar conversation as i transition from full time artist to part time artist and budding mini farmer. as i move toward living at chickory full time, my argument has been this:

what is wealth?

wealth is clean drinking water. wealth is health. food -even better; food ground by your own hand. listening to the classics (free when checked out from library or on internet), good books, time to be in the living world, art, songbirds, crickets at night, the goodness of family and home. preparing for a last stage of life that is INDEPENDENT of the government

sounds pat. but at this stage of the game i am disturbed at all the talk of recovery -if recovery means going back to a country that exists to buy cheap crap made to break so that you get to buy more cheap crap. i am a capitalist but the way i look at that is manifest destiny: think up your own jobs and go for it. let individuals trade for goods and services between themselves. not existing as a creature who consumes just to consume. but thats what the GOV implores us to do "shop! buy stocks! buy a shitty car so we can pay these workers 120 dollars an hours!...etc etc

the consumer economy should die. the true capitalism should thrive. without government intervention. the banks, AIG, Merrill...all these should have been allowed to FAIL.

and all this stimulus to prop it up is postponing the inevitable.

puerileuwaite said...

Wow. Excellent post, buddy. I'm not sure if I will be able to eat eggs again anytime soon.

NYD said...

K9 I applaud your move that, like so many other people, has you moving back to the good earth and producing part of your sustenance on your own. I have been doing that for almost a decade now and let me tell you, what you grow tastes so much better than what you buy from others.

Do not get Manifest destiny confused with conspicuous consumption. It is not out destiny to either produce nor purchase shoddy, ill-made items. Unfortunately we have become so used to a disposable society that the idea of having something that will last a good long time has been ursurped by those who would have us believe that anything new or "in style" is desirable. You can look towards to those who Vance Pakard called, "The Waste Makers".

Do not be so quick to rid yourself of govt. Better to tame it and make sure it is housebroken and well behaved.

Pug~ Has the party started yet???

I am glad that I finally wrote a post that gave you something to chew on.

Allan said...

Best case: Egg hatches, bird flies over wall.

Worst case: Reality.

NYD said...

Megan~ Girl, you have more than enough on your plate to be worrying about any foolishness that I have written about.

Go take care of things.

NYD said...

Allan~ Third scenario: As we are flying over the wall, we fall into the Cuckoo's Nest

K9 said...

agreed! we've come full circle to the chunkette in the cage shoes that looked like -what was it you called it?- a trussed ham? grrrrhahahaha. why buy, we ask -if it was so wrong for her as an individual and so unnecessary? i guess thats the crux of wastemakers. the culture is sick!

i cant wait to have some experience under my belt on the food front. thanks for the encouragement. did you see my new chicks at chickory blog? i lost my best laying hen last monday.

moi said...

Yet when deadly violence is used to force ones views of propriety upon the populace or coerce others it is wrong.

Nail. Hit. Head.

I would add that true self interest honors the rights of all individuals and does nothing to infringe on those rights, ever. The only exception is self defense and then only as a last resort.

What is happening in the world today is a POWER GRAB, instigated by PIRATES, not capitalists, and this has nothing to do with rational self interest, respect for your fellow humans, the land, and for honest, value-for-value trade. I therefore am doing on a smaller scale what K9 is doing: getting back to my land, establishing relationships with my neighbors, and flipping the bird to the bloated Mr. Creosote thugs who currently occupy Washington.

Spin said...

Ahhh! I like the way Allan put it.

"If you have a home, you're OK.
If you have a job, you're OK.
If you have clean water to drink, you're OK.
If you have safe food to eat, you're OK.
If you are reading this then you're OK."

I'm ok.....
Great post, thanks!

Spin said...

Geezz, I happy to just be able to have a sink again and simply wash dishes.

Spin said...

Geezz, I happy to just be able to have a sink again and simply wash dishes.

whimsical brainpan said...

Well said and amen!

Carla said...

Amen brother. Very well put.

Serena said...

After reading this, I'd root for the egg every time. Lots of food for thought there, NYD.

Kurt said...

The economic downturn is a chance for people to figure out what the really need.